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Nsefu Camp

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- Unique, historic camp
- Stunning riverside location
- Wildlife and viewing hide in camp
- 'Emerald Season' river trips

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Nsefu Camp is an authentic, historic bush camp in a stunning waterside location within the secluded Nsefu sector of South Luangwa National Park, eastern Zambia. Nestled on a bend of the Luangwa River in a peaceful, game rich area, the camp offers high quality hosting and guiding, along with unique, characterful accommodation for just 12 guests. Constructed in 1951, Nsefu was Zambia’s first safari camp, and today holds listed building status from the Zambian government. The surrounding terrain of oxbow lagoons, vast grassy plains, and riverine woodland is home to an impressive abundance of bird and wildlife including lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, and the elusive wild dog.

An hour’s drive from both Mfuwe Airport and its sister camp Nkwali, Nsefu operates from May to November, and for a few weeks during the January to March ‘Emerald’ season, when the Luangwa River floods, transforming the landscape. Visitors during October and November should prepare for extremely high temperatures, at a time when wildlife density is at a peak.

The camp’s open-sided main building or ‘chitenge’ is a thatched, airy construction comprising a traditionally furnished lounge and bar area, with great river views. Communal meals are served either alfresco or in the open-sided dining room. Outside is a lovely campfire area overlooking the water, and a viewing hide beside a lagoon popular with elephants, baboons, and warthogs. The camp runs on solar power, and provides charging facilities in both guest rooms and the main area. Wi-Fi is available, although there is no mobile phone reception.

Activities include day and night game drives and guided walks with informed, enthusiastic guides. Cultural visits to the local village and schools are encouraged, along with excursions to Mfuwe’s vibrant shops (‘dukas’) and markets. Visitors during the January to March ‘Emerald’ season can take to the water for boat trips along the Luangwa River. Nsefu is one of only two camps in this area, so guests enjoy the privilege of abundant wildlife with minimal vehicle traffic.

The accommodation comprises just six original brick and thatch circular chalets or ‘rondavels’ with wonderful views. Simply but comfortably furnished, each unit sleeps two guests in double or twin beds, draped with mosquito nets. All chalets benefit from an eco-friendly ‘Evening Breeze’ air conditioning system, which gently maintains air temperatures around the bed. Each chalet has an open-air, ensuite bathroom, with washbasin, WC and shower. Outside is a private veranda with seating, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the surrounding wildlife.

Children aged 12 years and over are very welcome, although parents should note that the camp is remote and unfenced, and while it’s rare for animals to approach chalets or humans, wildlife does roam through. Parents are reminded that children should be supervised at all times, and families with younger children may prefer to consider a stay at Nsefu’s sister camp, Nkwali, which is an hour’s drive away, and offers a pool and dedicated family unit.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 497 reviews


  • It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.

    It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.

    Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!

    My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.

    MissingWilliam M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

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